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Trial by Twitter? – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 27th January – Ballard School

January 27, 2016


Trial by Twitter?

A lot of effort, time and creativity has gone into our use of social media recently. This has been for a dual purpose: partly for marketing – to ensure the school is better known – and partly to inform parents, alumni, staff and pupils more fully about all the many and varied ‘activities’ which are going on at ‘busy Ballard’.

In order to ‘feed’ the social media ‘monster’ we are creating many more words, stories and pictures to illustrate school life. This in turn means that our output is more fully under scrutiny internally (have we made sure pupils who are not allowed to be photographed are out of frame?) and also externally with increased comment (most of it very encouraging) and, occasionally, some criticism. The latter has mostly been to do with the odd misspelling rather than misrepresentation. It was thus with some amusement, but also some trepidation, that I saw the ‘Daily Express and the ‘Daily Mail’ had carried articles on ‘trial by Twitter’:

A mother has taken to Twitter to highlight errors made by a teacher in her son’s literacy homework book. These include spelling errors including “sincerley” and “immediateley”, and typos which saw “you child” rather than “your child” and “work” typed where it should have been “week”. The parent said she found a corrected version of the item with her son’s belongings and assumes the teacher had intended to rectify the errors.


It sounds like the parent concerned was willing to give her son’s teacher the benefit of the doubt over corrections being underway but it’s a further nail in the coffin of ‘the teacher’s always right’ (and I accept that he / she isn’t always right) and opening up another area for intense ‘external’ scrutiny. So it was that I was highly amused to be asked by a Year 1 pupil today: ‘Mr Reid, does the Headmaster know more than any of the other teachers?’ I wish he did but am happy to concede that he doesn’t!

Alastair Reid (Headmonster – sic)

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